TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Control Yuan voted to impeach a former Army colonel who was caught pledging to surrender if China invaded.
Hsiang Te-en (向德恩) was handed a 7.5-year prison sentence in February for signing a document of surrender with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and spying for the country, with the sentence upheld in September. On Thursday (Nov. 9), the Control Yuan voted unanimously to impeach Hsiang for damaging military discipline and breeching official precepts.
Hsiang was recruited by a retired Taiwan military officer and Chinese spy Shao Wei-chiang (邵維強) to conduct espionage in exchange for monthly payments of NT$40,000 (US$1,200) since 2019, totaling NT$560,000. After signing the document of surrender, he dressed in military uniform and held it up in a photo with Shao.
The former colonel was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison in February. The Kaohsiung Branch of the High Court rejected his appeal in September and upheld the original sentence.
In a press release issued Friday, the Control Yuan stated that with a unanimous vote of 13 to 0, Control Yuan members Wang Meiyu (王美玉), Lin Yu-jong (林郁容), and Lin Wen-cheng (林文程) passed the impeachment motion against Hsiang. The case has been transferred to the Disciplinary Court for further review.
The Control Yuan members said that Hsiang is the highest-ranking active-duty military officer to be involved in CCP espionage cases in recent years.
They said he "failed to fulfill his duty of loyalty, betrayed the country for the sake of petty gains, ignored the sacred duty of a soldier, and abandoned the oath of allegiance to the country made before entering the service, he should therefore he should be punished in the most severe manner."
The Control Yuan believes that Hsiang's actions violated Article 138 of the Constitution, Article 5 of the National Security Act (國家安全法); Article 58 of the Act of Military Service for Officers and Non-commissioned Officers of the Armed Forces: and Articles 1, 6 and 17 of the Public Functionary Service Act (公務員服務法), among other laws.
The impeachment document mentioned that despite holding a high-ranking position in the military, Hsiang succumbed to the promise of money and promotions by Shao.
"This act violated his duty of loyalty to the country and to do his best to defend against enemies and effectively safeguard national defense and security. It is evident that his moral integrity has deteriorated, making him deeply despised by his countrymen," the Control Yuan wrote.